The Patriot Front (PF) is a white nationalist and neo-fascist organization which uses traditional fascist imagery conveyed through an ‘Americana’ chic perspective to spread their message (1). As of 2021, they have 42 chapters throughout the United States and are estimated to have around 230 to 300 active members (3). Their group’s leader, Thomas Ryan Rousseau, is based in Dallas, Texas, but travels extensively to the different chapters around the country to participate in the group’s activist actions. The Patriot Front is considered a part of the ‘alt-right’ political subculture in the United States. It uses a top-down discipline structure that is highly regulated by Rousseau, which has provided them with more success and visibility over the past few years, while other groups have struggled (5). Their motto is ‘Life, Liberty, and Victory’.
History & Foundations
The group was founded in 2017 after the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, when Rousseau broke off from another white supremacist group – Vanguard America. Rousseau’s dissociation followed internal disagreement amongst members of Vanguard America regarding how to move forward from the issues of their aforementioned rally (5). From that point onwards, the group has been focusing on ‘flash demonstrations’, flier and graffiti campaigns, hand-to-hand combat training, as well as recruitment drives. They have had a number of prominent actions that have given them notoriety and brought awareness to their brand of ‘patriotic fascism’. Their most recent notable event was on June 11th, 2022, when police stopped a Uhaul with 50 members of PF headed to a Pride Event being held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They were found with riot shields, smoke bombs, and other small arms and were arrested on charges of conspiracy to riot (1). On January 21st, 2022, the left-wing website Unicorn Riot gained access to leaked chats, server data, and videos of the Patriot Front which gave an insight into the inner workings of the groups. These leaks revealed how the group trained for riot preparedness, as well as their omni-utilization of racist (notably anti-semetic) language (4).
Ideology & Goals
The Patriot Front’s primary objective is to establish a white ethno-state through the closure of all borders and the mass deportation of those deemed as ‘non-American’. They view the current republic as a failure of democracy which has specifically let down the white man. In fact – and as they state in their manifesto – "the time of the Republic has passed in America as the system grows too weak to perform its duty. [...] The damage done to this nation and its people will not be fixed if every issue requires the approval and blessing from the dysfunctional American democratic system. Democracy has failed in this once great nation."(2) The group also heavily incorporates anti-semitist ideals within its ideology, as they have used slogans such as “Blood and Soil” (a nationalist slogan which can be traced back to Nazi Germany), and have protested outside of Israili consulates against ‘Zionist influences’ (1).
Approach to Resistance
The group adopts a non-lethal philosophy, specifically staying away from firearms and tactical firearm training. However, in the background, a number of their members have been caught manufacturing ‘ghost-guns’ – untraceable firearms due to a lack of a serial number – as well as being charged with other weapon-related crimes (3). The group’s general approach to political outreach involves propaganda and compilations of their activities, turning their activism into social media posts and short videos. Most of their activism takes the form of posters, stickers, banners, and graffiti, while also regularly conducting marches a number of times a year. Some of their events which attract the most popularity involve marches with 50 to 150 of their members, all marching in uniforms fitted with a phalanx of altered American flags, as well as with Patriot Front fascist symbols. Its members tend to target minority neighborhoods for their stickering campaigns to increase the provocation of their activities (4).
Relations & Alliances
The Patriot Front is an organization pushing for completely closed borders, a halt on immigration, an end to foreign wars, and the mass deportation of anyone not born in the United States (1). The members of the Front are also barred from holding membership or positions in other competing right-wing groups (5). In the early days of the organization, they would hold rallies with other groups such as some Daily Stormer book clubs, the Whomsters, or even the Houston Gargoyles. Nonetheless, in recent years, the group has not associated with any others during their rallies, marches, or other activist operations (1).
Works Cited (Chicago-style)
(1) - ADL. 2022. “Patriot Front.” ADL. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounder/patriot-front.
(2) - Patriot Front. n.d. Patriot Front - RECLAIM AMERICA. Accessed October 8, 2022. https://patriotfront.us/.
(3) - Pradelli, Chad. 2021. “What is Patriot Front: Answering questions about group that marched on Independence Mall - 6abc Philadelphia.” 6ABC. https://6abc.com/patriot-front-philadelphia-protest-white-supremacist/10875062/.
(4) - Schiano, Chris, and Dan Feidt. 2022. “Patriot Front Fascist Leak Exposes Nationwide Racist Campaigns - UNICORN RIOT.” Unicorn Riot. https://unicornriot.ninja/2022/patriot-front-fascist-leak-exposes-nationwide-racist-campaigns/.
(5) - Southern Poverty Law Center. n.d. “Patriot Front.” Southern Poverty Law Center. Accessed October 8, 2022. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/patriot-front.